Special Awards by HIPA to Tim Flach, Tom Ang, Yousef Al Habshi

The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) has announced the ‘special award’ recipients for its eighth season of competition. These go to “photographers that have contributed positively to photography as an art-form and industry” and for this season HIPA has named recipients of the ‘Photography Content Creator Award’, the ‘Emerging Person in Photography Award’ and the ‘Photography Appreciation Award’.

The latter goes to British photographer Tim Flach, for his outstanding contribution to photography in the fields of nature and the environment throughout his career. The image at the top, Red Crown Cranes Dancing, is from his brillaint Endagered series.

Tim Flach has become one of the most influential animal photographers in the world, seeking to use photography to shift public and scientific perceptions of the natural world with imagery that evokes powerful emotional responses – his core belief is that widespread emotional response leads to direct action.

He said he felt it a great honour to be on the list of distinguished personalities honoured with the award. “At this point in history we are growing further away from the world of nature while we are increasingly in need of it, in terms of food, climate and other important issues. Many in our world still do not realise the gravity of the challenges that require us to protect nature more. As images are one of the best and most effective methods of human communication in this age, I seek to move people’s feelings and raise their awareness through the stories I tell them through images.”

New Zealander Tom Ang received the Photography Content Creator Award for his educational work – he has authored more than 40 books on photography, among them the best-selling Digital Photographer’s Handbook and Digital Photography Masterclass. He has also written and presented TV series, held editorial posts at and been a correspondent for numerous photography magazines, has taught photography, photojournalism and publishing at BA and MA level for over 12 years, and has been a consultant to the photography industry for many years.

The Emerging Person in Photography Award was given to Emirati photographer Yousef Al Habshi, noted for his macro and micro photography as highlighted in National Geographic magazine.

Al Habshi’s competition achievements include two consecutive first places (2012 and 2013) at the Emirates International Photography Contest, and another first in the Nikon Small Worlds micro-photography competition.

Al Habshi was fulsome in his praise for HIPA: “I cannot imagine the magnitude and responsibility that HIPA have year-on-year ensuring that the spotlight on photography continues to shine bright. HIPA is paving the way for all genres of photography, as well as raising awareness of emerging ones. Their support of photography in the scientific field is both encouraging and motivating. HIPA continues to prove to us year after year that it strives to present new, different and contemporary aspects of photography.”

HIPA’s main awards – with the largest monetary prize among photography awards, totalling $423,000 this year – are due to be announced this weekend. We’ll report next week.

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